When T20 was recognized at Int. level, Australian cricketers & other top nations had less respect towards this format, as they thought this to be just a bang and smash game…
Few un pleasant comment by Aussie players didn’t go well, as it harbored arrogant attitude… which made me think why suddenly these players are despising this format!. Then I thought of how Aussies play their cricket at any level and in any format.
They play their cricket as a team game, and individuals fulfilling their role as a member( not suggesting other teams don’t , but it does not reflect in their performance) in all skills, from running between wickets, backing up players in fielding.
However T20 is a very very small game – 120 balls!. Where the role play is difficult if 2 batters are not going at the same speed (for all teams) therefore individual brilliance reflects more prominently. Here is a look at how Australia performed in T20I (series wise)
Batting Table. Here I have broken their overall performance in various phases
Phase 1 (2005-2007) :
Captain: Ricky Ponting
Openers : Gilchrist Hayden
A Brief observation : Aussies T20 style was based on how they were playing ODIs during that period. Power hitting!. On average every over had 1 or more boundary. From their powerplay(avg 50runs) performance it was apparent how they approached this format. On the other end, their bowling was mean and accurate, with see huge gap difference across all indices between batting and bowling.
Phase 2 (2007-2009)
Captain : Ponting
Openers : various opening pair. Introduction of David ‘Dynamite ‘ Warner. This phase saw retirement of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne(although he never played T20 for Australia). In 10 games, Australia inducted 14Debutants. Only 4 wins in 10 games.
Captains : Ponting, M Clarke & C White
Openers: Watson Warner:
Interesting phase for Australia,
as their bowlers were taken to cleaners by few brilliant individual performance, and for the first time Aussie bowlers conceded more boundaries than their batsman scored. In this phase (24games)Thrice teams scored more than 190 against Australians!.
Phase 4 (2011-2013)
Captain: G Bailey debuted as a captain, replacing Cameron White, who was unable to transpose his domestic success as a captain at Int. level. White soon was replaced by Bailey, who like him has excellent captaincy record at domestic circuit, but lacks charisma of his precedors.
However Bailey showed grit with bat whenever Australian top order failed, which White was unable to, because as captain his Bat Avg is 19.83 against career 28.48.
This phase also saw Aussie top order showing consistency in run scoring, but it lacked speed. Their run-rate dipped measurably, as less and less boundaries were scored (especially in powerplay)
Openers : Watson Warner Finch
Below is a link(excel sheet) to series-wise summary of Australia’s performance in T20I .
Australia can take a leaf from Sri Lanka (No 1 T20 side) and look at batsman’s scoring rate at various situations (1st batting or while chasing), and send them to bat, just like Sri Lanka did in 2nd T20I, when they send Thisara Perera instead of Angelo Mathews. Perera has a better scoring rate, and Angelo better batting avg, but the situation demanded big scoring shots without taking wasting many balls, therefore they decided to send Perera over Mathews. I am sure teams are looking at this theory, as one can see few batsman padded in dug out, and are send according to match situation. Same theory can be applied for bowlers, viz who bowls better with new ball or between 7-10 overs, or at then end while defending small, or big targets.